(The Guardians, #1)
Publication date: May 13th 2022
Genres: Adult, Horror, Paranormal
Edited by: R.E. Hargrave
Fate can have many paths. Which would you choose?
Kiera’s capacity to face death stems from training, begun when old enough to wield a knife. Befriended by wolves and raised by a group of psychic men sworn to protect humanity, she now faces mercenaries intent on reshaping the world using equal talents.
Prodigious keyboard skills and innate curiosity has led Wyatt McGlauklin to invent the unimaginable. He’s long since claimed status as the top computer science geek. Little do people know, there’s much more to Wyatt.
When a blonde spitfire steps out of nowhere to prevent his assassination, his life’s direction takes an extraordinary turn where his analytical mind can’t validate paranormal phenomena.
Fate decrees Kiera find her life partner, but she learns you don’t always get to choose whom you love. Wyatt’s arrival challenges destiny as they combine forces to preserve the world as they know it.
A must-read for fans of for fans of CM Sutter, Dale Mayer, Dean Koontz, LT Ryan, and Fiona Quinn.
Each flip of the key ring around his index finger tallied another reason to quit the world of high stake’s business. Work stemming from a far-fetched theory had taken form and flourished beyond his imagination.
Unlike the soundless steps of his bodyguard’s booted strides, Wyatt’s tennis shoes pealed squishy squeaks through the dimly lit parking garage.
“Adam, this does not make my list of top favorite places to visit. Next time I help an old college friend, maybe we could pick a drier day and find parking other than a creepy garage?”
A rat skittered across the floor in the shadows, its gimlet-eyed stare marking the intruders’ positions. Air redolent of filth, gas, and pizza from a nearby restaurant clogged Wyatt’s sinuses, reminiscent of the alley apartment occupied during college. Since those lean years, digital fluency and hard work had jettisoned him to the top of his field.
The clash of artificial dingy light and murky silhouettes added an ominous, prophetic feeling he couldn’t shake. Water stains mingled with shapeless apparitions to create fleeting two-dimensional monsters between vehicles, ready to attack unwary travelers.
He was not a fan of inkblot tests.
I haven’t been spooked like this in years.
Adam shrugged. “As far as security is concerned, it’s not an ideal location since the street side is open, but it is the closest available. Roadside parking leaves you too vulnerable. As much as you cherish you privacy, I’m surprised you offered to help him. Why couldn’t you do it over the net?”
“Hardware issues require hands-on assistance. He’s my ex-roommate. I felt sorry for him. Modern advances in technology left him in the dust.”
“Next time, suggest a meeting during daylight hours and a place of our choosing?”
Adam narrowed his eyes and tilted his head as if listening to a far-off sound. The combination spelled trouble. His steps slowed and adopted a deliberate edge even as his shoulders tightened in preparation to strike.
“A graveyard walk would be less creepy, and a proctologist’s exam more fun.” Sweat beaded Wyatt’s forehead despite the cool spring breeze drifting over the graffiti-covered knee wall.
“This place feels off to me. Let’s get the hell out of here—” Adam stopped, holding out his right arm to halt their progress.
Wyatt’s slip on a crudely patched piece of concrete necessitated his bodyguard’s steadying hand. Dirt and loose crumbles skittered underfoot, their audio report echoing off the walls.
“Watch your step, boss. No need to broadcast our location.”
“You know,” Wyatt muttered. “People think of me as a good analytical, concrete thinker. I guess whatever higher power gifted me with intuitive abilities for logistics and computers exacted a mental tariff—common sense.” His penchant for talking when nervous filled the quiet atmosphere.
“My instincts say trouble’s GPS has locked on. Stay close.”
The soft glide of his bodyguard’s gun from his shoulder rig compelled Wyatt to suck in chilled air that seared his lungs. Each step forward carried the expectation of death.
“Intuition is your best survival tool and seldom wrong. For an athletic geek, yours is pretty good.”
Wyatt didn’t argue the conciliatory assessment. Routine sparring with Adam revealed the bodyguard had reflexes that boggled the mind.
Sudden sharp beeps shattered the silence. A sequence of long and short chirps denoting binary code identified Wyatt’s caller. His heart rate shot into overdrive. Hair on his nape prickled as he fumbled the device. Swiping to ignore didn’t recall the audible beacon.
Massive pillars supported the five-story concrete structure that supplied parking space for the attached office building. Rounding one to his left, Wyatt stumbled as Adam snatched him sideways.
The colossal brute they almost bounced off had detached from the shadows with a stealth befitting a sixteenth century ninja. Colossal mass defied speed but personified malice with a savage gaze and gap-toothed smile.
“Jesus!” Wyatt’s split-second observation induced a rush of adrenaline with the hand holding his cell thrusting forward in self-protection. “Damn. You’re big.”
Deep chuckling inspired images of the worst villains in horror movies.
Brown hair pulled back in a ponytail swept the shoulder of the man bearing a gold tooth. A ridge of pitted, tanned skin separated the straight bushy unibrow deepening with a tilt of his head. Dark eyes retained terrible knowledge embracing and calculating endless methods for the most efficient kill.
After flicking a glance over the bodyguard in silent disregard, the brute’s appraisal raked Wyatt’s body head to toe. Thin lips widened in obvious glee.
“Time to meet your maker, prodigy.” He mimicked Wyatt’s sidestep in a lightning-fast move and knocked Adam’s gun from his hand. The pistol ricocheted under a nearby Toyota producing multiple tin-like clinks.
Time shattered into bits and pieces where each fractured instant unfurled another fragment of the ominous scene. Wyatt’s thoughts stuttered on a long blink.
Reily Garrett is a writer, mother, and companion to three long coat German shepherds. When not working with her dogs, she’s sitting at her desk with her fur kids by her side.
Author of chilling suspense and snarky romance, her stories span the distance of romantic thrillers, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. Regardless of genre, each book delves into a dark and twisted imagination yet is tempered with romance and a touch of humor.
Reviews by Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Bay Review, and BestThrillers.com best describe her work:
"This could be James Patterson, Lee Child, and Tess Gerritsen rolled into one, but the dark, twisted methods used by the serial killer could surprise even those readers…” - San Francisco Bay Review
“…steamy, seductive police procedural…” - BestThrillers.com
“…well-researched thriller that remains romantically genuine throughout.” - Kirkus Review
Prior experience in the Military Police, private investigations, and as an ICU nurse gives her fiction a real-world flavor. Find Reily below.
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